Competition founder and UB chemist Jason Benedict (left) compares notes with University of New Mexico chemist Jeffrey Rack.
Jason Benedict evaluates one of the samples from the many entries the competition received. “The kids love making crystals, and every time I pick one of theirs up to look at it, I’m just awestruck,” Benedict said.
Texas A&M chemistry graduate student Lupita Aguirre inspects one of the crystal submissions, judging it for size, quality and clarity.
The panel of judges, including graduate students, staff and faculty volunteers from Texas A&M University's Department of Chemistry, pose for a group photo in front of the submissions. This year they received about 170 entries from teams in more than 40 states.
From left: Texas A&M graduate students Valerie Kreisel, Lupita Aguirre, Leonel Jimenez and Yu-Chuan Hsu analyze dozens of entries.
From left: Texas A&M graduate students Leonel Jimenez and Yu-Chuan Hsu each hold a crystal at eye level to get a closer look.
Annie Schmautz, Texas A&M graduate student, and Jeffrey Rack, University of New Mexico chemist and USCGC regional coordinator, confer to discuss their observations of this year’s competition.
Texas A&M chemist and USCGC regional coordinator Michael Nippe studies a crystal during the judging, as colleague Joseph Reibenspies does the same in the background. “There are few experimental results that can compete with the satisfaction of obtaining beautiful, perfect crystals when everything goes well,” Nippe says.
Published January 25, 2022